Art and Related Worker Career Guide 2024

Table of Contents

Art and Related Worker Salary in United States for 2023

Average Annual Salary: $69,760 Hourly Rate: $33.54

Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor via the ONET Web API. Updated at December 8, 2023

Best Colleges and Universities for Art and Related Workers in 2023

Best College Majors for Art and Related Workers in 2023

Projected Job Employment for Art and Related Worker:

Estimated YearProjected YearEstimated EmploymentProjected Employment% ChangeProjected Annual Job Opening

Art and Related Worker Career Path Overview

In the diverse world of art and related occupations, a wide range of career paths are available. These fields offer an array of opportunities for creative individuals who wish to express their unique perspectives and ideas through various mediums. Each career path in this sector demands a unique set of skills, educational background, and personal attributes.

Education and Training

The educational requirements for art and related worker careers often vary depending on the specific role. For instance, fine artists such as painters, sculptors, and illustrators typically need a Bachelor's or Master's degree in fine arts. However, some artists might thrive on talent alone, without formal education. Graphic designers typically need a Bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field. Additionally, they should have a comprehensive portfolio showcasing their work. Photographers, on the other hand, often only need technical proficiency which can be acquired through vocational training or self-study.

Career Options

There are numerous career options within the art industry. Fine artists create original artwork using techniques such as painting, sculpting, or drawing. Craft artists create handmade objects like pottery, glassware, textiles, and other objects that are designed to be functional. Multimedia artists and animators create images and animation for television, movies, video games and other forms of media. Graphic designers develop the overall layout and production design for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports. Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for art-related careers varies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for art directors is projected to decline 2 percent from 2019 to 2029. However, employment of multimedia artists and animators is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is fueled by increased demand for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, and television.

Skills and Qualities

Successful art and related workers often possess a combination of technical skills, creative ability, and personal traits. They need strong artistic ability to develop their ideas into tangible forms. Technical skills such as proficiency with computer software are often necessary, especially in digital art fields like graphic design or animation. Communication skills are also important as artists often need to promote their work or collaborate with clients or team members. Furthermore, being detail-oriented and having good problem-solving abilities can help artists create high-quality work and navigate challenges in their projects.

Work Environment

Artists and related workers can work in a variety of environments. Some artists work in studios, while others might work from home or in shared spaces. Graphic designers often work in design firms, advertising agencies, or in-house corporate design departments. Multimedia artists and animators can work in the film, television, or video game industries. The working hours can vary widely, with some artists working regular office hours while others may work evenings, weekends, or on a project-by-project basis.

Art and Related Worker Career Path Education and Training

Becoming an art and related worker involves a unique blend of talent, passion, and education. The path to this career starts with developing a solid foundation in the arts, supplemented by formal training and education. Below, we delve into the educational requirements and training necessary for aspiring art and related workers.

High School Preparation

The journey to becoming an art and related worker often begins in high school. Many artists discover their interest and aptitude for art during these formative years. High school art classes provide students with basic knowledge of art principles and techniques. They also offer opportunities to explore various artistic mediums, such as painting, sculpture, and digital art. It's also beneficial for students to take courses in art history to understand the evolution of art over time.

Postsecondary Education

After high school, many aspiring artists pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts or a related field. These programs provide a more in-depth study of art, allowing students to specialize in their chosen medium. Coursework typically includes studio art, principles of design, art history, and computer graphics. Some artists may even pursue a Master's degree in Fine Arts for further specialization. It’s worth noting that not all art and related worker careers require a bachelor's degree. For instance, illustrators and cartoonists often need only an associate degree or certificate. However, a bachelor's degree can enhance job prospects and provide advanced skills.

Vocational Training and Workshops

In addition to formal education, vocational training and workshops play a crucial role in an artist's career development. These programs offer practical, hands-on experience that complements academic learning. They often focus on specific skills or techniques, such as oil painting, digital illustration, or ceramics.

Internships and Residencies

Internships provide valuable real-world experience for aspiring artists. They offer opportunities to work under experienced professionals, learn about the industry, and build a professional portfolio. Art residencies, on the other hand, provide artists with a dedicated time and space to focus on their work, often in a stimulating and supportive environment.

Continuing Education

The art world is dynamic and constantly evolving. To keep pace with new trends and techniques, many artists pursue continuing education throughout their careers. This could involve attending workshops, enrolling in online courses, or even pursuing further degrees. In conclusion, the career path of an art and related worker is a blend of formal education, hands-on training, and continuous learning. While talent and passion are key, they must be supplemented with the right knowledge and skills acquired through the right education and training avenues.

Art and Related Worker Career Path Progression

Embarking on a career path as an Art and Related Worker can lead to a multitude of exciting opportunities. This career path offers various progression routes, each filled with creative challenges and rewarding experiences. Let's delve into the different stages involved in the progression of this career path.

Entry-Level Positions

The journey typically begins with entry-level positions. A fresh graduate or someone with little experience might start as an assistant to an experienced artist or work in junior roles in advertising agencies, design studios, or art galleries. These roles often require assisting in developing art concepts, preparing materials, and learning from more experienced professionals. Entry-level jobs provide the essential foundation for understanding the practical aspects of the art world.

Mid-Level Positions

After accumulating some years of experience and honing their skills, artists often progress to mid-level positions. These roles may include working as independent artists, art directors, illustrators, or graphic designers. At this stage, artists typically handle more complex projects, supervise junior staff, and may begin developing their unique style. They also learn to network with other professionals in the field and start showcasing their work in exhibitions or online platforms.

Senior-Level Positions

Senior-level positions are usually reserved for artists with a wealth of experience and a well-established reputation in the art industry. These positions may include roles such as senior graphic designer, lead illustrator, art director or even curator at an art gallery. Professionals at this level have significant influence over creative decisions and often manage teams of artists. They are often recognized for their distinct artistic style and have a substantial portfolio of work.

Further Career Opportunities

The career path of an Art and Related Worker doesn't stop at senior-level positions. Artists can further expand their careers by venturing into teaching at universities or colleges, becoming art critics, opening their own galleries, or even working as freelance consultants for corporations and government agencies.

Continuous Learning and Development

In the dynamic field of art, continuous learning is crucial for career progression. Artists often have to keep up with new software, techniques, and trends in the art world. Many professionals choose to further their education with advanced degrees or specialized courses in areas such as digital art, animation, or art history. In conclusion, the career path of an Art and Related Worker is filled with opportunities for growth and development. It's a journey marked by continuous learning, creative exploration, and personal expression.

Art and Related Worker Career Path Specializations and Subfields

The field of art is as vast as it is diverse, offering a plethora of career paths for those with a creative spirit and a passion for aesthetics. Art and Related Worker careers encompass a wide range of specializations, each one unique in its demands, skill sets, and opportunities. Let's delve into some of the key subfields within this broad discipline.

Fine Artists

Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create original works of art that are visually appealing or thought-provoking. They specialize in various mediums such as oil, acrylics, watercolor, pastels, charcoal, or clay. Fine artists often exhibit their work in galleries and museums, sell them directly to the public, or work on commission basis. To succeed in this path, one needs not only artistic talent but also business acumen to market their work effectively.

Art Directors

Art directors are responsible for the visual style and overall aesthetic appeal of publications, product packaging, movies, television productions, and more. They collaborate with designers and artists to develop design concepts and oversee the creative process from conception to completion. This career requires a keen eye for design, leadership skills, and a thorough understanding of current trends in art and design.

Multimedia Artists and Animators

In the digital age, multimedia artists and animators are increasingly in demand. They create visual effects, animations, and other visual images using computer software or by hand for media like movies, TV shows, video games, and advertisements. This subfield requires strong technical skills in various software applications along with a knack for storytelling.

Fashion Designers

Fashion designers apply their artistic talents to clothing, footwear, and accessories. They sketch designs, select fabrics and patterns, and oversee the production of their designs. This career path demands a keen sense of style, understanding of various materials and fabrics, and knowledge of current fashion trends.

Graphic Designers

Graphic designers create visual concepts to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports. Proficiency in design software, creativity, and excellent communication skills are crucial in this field.

Industrial Designers

Industrial designers combine art, business, and engineering to design the concept for manufactured products. They sketch designs, build prototypes, and work closely with product engineers. This specialization requires a good understanding of materials, production processes, and market trends. Each subfield in the Art and Related Worker career path has its unique set of skills and requirements. However, what unites them all is the need for creativity, an eye for detail, and a passion for design and aesthetics. No matter which path you choose, a career in art offers an opportunity to transform your creative vision into reality.

Art and Related Worker Career Path Job Market and Outlook

The job market for Art and Related Workers is a dynamic landscape filled with diverse opportunities. From traditional roles in art studios and museums to innovative positions within technology firms and marketing agencies, the scope for art-related careers is broad and expansive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for Art and Related Workers will grow at a pace consistent with the average for all occupations through 2028. However, this growth rate can significantly vary depending on the specific field of art one chooses to pursue. For instance, the demand for multimedia artists and animators is expected to grow by 4% from 2018 to 2028, driven by the increasing need for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, and television. On the other hand, the job outlook for craft and fine artists shows slower-than-average growth, largely due to stiff competition for both salaried positions and independent sale work.

Opportunities in Emerging Fields

Art-related careers are not confined to traditional roles. With the advancement of digital technology, new opportunities are emerging in fields such as digital art, UI/UX design, and virtual reality. Digital artists, for example, are finding increasing employment opportunities in sectors like advertising, video game design, and film production. These positions often require proficiency in software such as Adobe Creative Suite or other digital design tools. UI/UX designers combine artistic skills with an understanding of user behavior to create seamless digital experiences. They are in high demand across industries, from tech startups to established corporations. Virtual reality offers an exciting new frontier for artists. VR artists use their creative skills to design immersive environments and experiences. This field is particularly relevant for game designers, filmmakers, and those involved in developing educational tools or virtual simulations.

Freelance Opportunities

The gig economy has had a significant impact on the job market for Art and Related Workers. Many artists are now choosing to work as freelancers or independent contractors, offering their creative services to multiple clients. This career path allows for flexibility and the freedom to choose projects that align with their personal interests. Platforms like Behance, Dribbble, and Fiverr have made it easier for freelance artists to showcase their work and connect with potential clients. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are also widely used by artists to display their portfolio and reach a global audience.

Art Career Paths in Education

Education also offers a rewarding career path for artists. Many choose to work as art teachers in schools, colleges, and universities, sharing their knowledge and passion with the next generation of artists. Art educators play a crucial role in nurturing creativity, developing artistic skills, and fostering an appreciation for art among students. In conclusion, the job market for Art and Related Workers is evolving, with new opportunities emerging in digital technology and freelance work. Regardless of the specific path chosen, a career in art offers the chance to engage in creative expression while contributing to various sectors of society.

Art and Related Worker Career Path Salary and Compensation

If you're considering a career as an Art and Related Worker, understanding the potential salary and compensation is essential. The financial rewards in this field can vary greatly depending on factors such as the specific role, industry, location, and your level of experience and education.

Salary Range for Art and Related Workers

The salary range for Art and Related Workers can be quite broad. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for craft and fine artists was $48,760 in May 2019. However, the lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,140, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $101,400. It's important to note that these figures can fluctuate based on a variety of factors mentioned above.

Compensation Based on Roles

Different roles within the art world come with different salary expectations. For instance, Art Directors, who are typically responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions, had a median annual wage of $94,220 in May 2019. On the other hand, Multimedia Artists and Animators, who create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media, had a median annual wage of $75,270 in the same period.

Industry Impact on Compensation

The industry in which you work also plays a significant role in determining your compensation. For example, Art and Related Workers employed in the motion picture and video industries tend to earn higher salaries than those working in other sectors. In May 2019, the median annual wage for these professionals was $75,270.

Geographical Influence on Salary

Geographical location can also influence Art and Related Workers' salaries. In general, those based in urban areas with a high cost of living tend to earn more than those in rural areas. For instance, states like California and New York, known for their vibrant arts scenes, often offer higher salaries for these professionals.

Experience and Education Impact on Salary

As with most careers, experience and education can significantly impact your earning potential as an Art and Related Worker. Those with advanced degrees or extensive portfolios showcasing their work often command higher salaries. Similarly, as you gain more experience and establish a reputation in the field, your earning potential typically increases. In conclusion, while the salary and compensation for Art and Related Workers can vary widely, this career path offers the opportunity for creative expression and fulfillment. By understanding the factors that influence salary, you can make informed decisions about your career trajectory in the arts.

Art and Related Worker Career Path Tips for Success

When it comes to success as an Art and Related Worker, the journey is as unique as the artwork you create. However, there are a few time-tested tips that can help pave your path to success.

Education and Training

While talent is crucial in the art world, formal education can equip you with the technical skills and theoretical knowledge that are often essential in this field. Consider pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts or a related field to learn about art history, color theory, and other fundamental aspects of art. Some artists may even pursue a Master's degree for advanced training.

Portfolio Development

Your portfolio is your visual resume. It showcases your skills, creativity, and style to potential employers or clients. Continually updating and refining your portfolio is key to demonstrating your growth and versatility as an artist.


In the art industry, who you know can be just as important as what you know. Attend gallery openings, art fairs, and other industry events to meet professionals who can offer advice, opportunities, or collaborations. Building relationships with fellow artists, gallery owners, and collectors can open up new opportunities.

Continuous Learning

Art is a field that constantly evolves. Keeping up with new techniques, tools, and trends can help you stay relevant and competitive. Take advantage of workshops, online tutorials, and professional development courses to continually refine your skills.

Online Presence

In today's digital age, having an online presence is a must for any artist. A personal website can serve as a platform to display your portfolio, share your artistic journey, and sell your work. Social media platforms like Instagram can also help you reach a wider audience.

Diversify Your Income Streams

As an artist, it's beneficial to have multiple income streams. This could include selling original artwork, prints, or merchandise, teaching art classes, or taking on freelance projects. Diversifying your income can provide financial stability while also allowing you to pursue various artistic interests.

Resilience and Persistence

Finally, success in the art world often requires resilience and persistence. Rejection is a part of the journey, but it's important not to let it deter you from your passion. Keep creating, keep learning, and keep pushing forward. Remember, every artist's path is different. What works for one person may not work for another. However, these tips can provide a helpful starting point as you navigate your unique career path in the art world.

What is an Art and Related Worker?

An art and related worker is a professional who creates aesthetic, functional, or both types of designs for various mediums such as paintings, sculptures, digital graphics, clothing, and more. These professionals can work in various industries, including fashion, film, graphic design, interior design, advertising, publishing, and more. They utilize their creative abilities and technical skills to produce unique pieces of art or designs that serve specific purposes or express certain ideas or feelings.

What are the different types of Art and Related Worker careers?

There are numerous career paths available within the realm of art and related worker roles. These include graphic designers, who create visual concepts for marketing materials; illustrators, who draw images for books, magazines, and digital media; fashion designers, who design clothing and accessories; animators, who create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media; interior designers, who plan and design indoor spaces; and fine artists, who create original artwork using a variety of mediums. Other roles include art directors, multimedia artists, craft artists, and art therapists.

What education is needed to become an Art and Related Worker?

The educational requirements for art and related worker careers vary depending on the specific job. However, most positions require at least a bachelor's degree in an art-related field. For instance, graphic designers usually need a degree in graphic design or a related field. Similarly, interior designers typically need a bachelor's degree in interior design or a related field. Fine artists might not need formal education but having a bachelor’s or master's degree in fine arts can enhance their skills and job prospects. Additionally, some roles may require specific certifications or licenses.

What skills are necessary for an Art and Related Worker?

Art and related workers require a unique blend of creative, technical, and interpersonal skills. Key skills include artistic ability, creativity, attention to detail, time management, and the ability to work independently. They should also have strong visual communication skills to convey ideas and messages through their work. Knowledge of computer software like Adobe Creative Suite is essential for roles like graphic design. Furthermore, skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and an understanding of color, texture, and light can be beneficial.

What is the job outlook for Art and Related Workers?

The job outlook for art and related workers varies by occupation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of arts and design occupations is projected to grow 4 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. However, certain sectors such as digital media, animation, and UX/UI design are expected to see higher growth due to increasing demand in these fields.

How much does an Art and Related Worker make?

The salary for art and related workers can vary widely depending on the specific role, the individual's experience level, and the industry in which they work. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for arts and design occupations was $48,130 in May 2020. However, salaries can range from less than $25,000 for certain fine artists to more than $100,000 for experienced art directors or senior designers.

What is a typical day like for an Art and Related Worker?

A typical day for an art and related worker will largely depend on their specific role and industry. However, most artists spend their days brainstorming ideas, creating art or designs using various tools and mediums, meeting with clients or colleagues to discuss projects, reviewing their work for any necessary adjustments, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends in their field. They may also spend time marketing their work, especially if they are self-employed.